Archives For advice

“Remember: you will never earn the same rewards as others without employing the same methods and investment of time as they do. It is unreasonable to think we can earn rewards without being willing to pay their true price. The person who “wins” at something has no real advantage over you because they had to pay the price for the reward.”

— Epictetus, A Manual for Living

There are times we can feel the overwhelming power of jealous and the great sense of failure when we size ourselves up with others who are deemed “successful.” Normally, I’m on my best guard when I let my own thoughts react to these situations but it was a special combination of “highly specialized individual” and the “undying thirst for knowledge.”

Then again, a good verbal barrage and the art of hijacking the conversation so you are the center of all things are usually what sells it home, especially giving it a few days to think about. To be honest, it started off as a friendly sharing of knowledge of literature and the love of books. I deeply wanted to get into the concepts and ideas of how stories are so great. It was on the topic of Russian literature (outside of popular culture, I knew little first hand) and French literature.

When it got to French literature, my brain connected towards to a recent purchase of The Count of Monte Cristo and how I wanted to see if this other person had read it and had an opinion of what the interwebs were saying about the new translation from Penguin Books was recommended as the best to read. I had only gotten the Modern Library version so… I wanted an answer if it was still worth it.

I never got that answer.

Continue Reading…

Advertisements

SELF-SLAPPERY

December 18, 2017 — Leave a comment

Supposedly, it takes an average of 66 days to make or break a habit. Nope, it’s not 21 days apparently as we once thought before so… more days, more fun! Don’t worry, it’s just numbers being thrown around, so it shouldn’t really matter at all because we should focus on that aspect too long. It’s good for a visual so you can see what the heck is going on (like having a physical calendar to cross each day off whenever your successful so you can have that gratification in completing something).

The days can be daunting but if you don’t get one down, you’ll never get to day two or day 66 or even… day 500. It’s all about routine and so… maybe it’s just wise for you to stop now and just open up that word document you have been putting off and just write out 500 words… no wait, make it just even 250 words. Yeah, that’s better… just do it.

It’s taking a long hard fight to realize that excuses are the enemy. That and blaming. While all that energy is being put into that pile of useless thought, we could be finishing that screenplay, doing push-ups, or finishing that book you left two months ago.

B-b-but, I’m just suffering from a block! I can’t get into the FLOW! It’s just a struggle! So, it’s okay for me to complain about the pain so I can deal with it… Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?
Continue Reading…

Everyone has their moments. The divide between professionalism and your emotions is a fine line between order and chaos. I’m sure that even the best will have their bad moments.

We have our intelligence.

We have our primal instinct.

The two are total opposites and always trying to gain the upper hand. And with this, it makes sense when the stressors of our lives pile on and on and on… until we break. Not everyone can handle the pressure and that’s when we see the difference between those we deem “professionals” or “cool under pressure.”

In the mythos of Buddhism philosophy, we can encounter three types of poisons — delusion, greed, and, what is referred to as, “aversion, ill will.

Basically, anger.

Continue Reading…

There is an idea that multi-tasking is the way to go. I know I can’t do it. I remember reading somewhere that it’s actually mono-tasking on steroids. Whatever the case, it’s almost impossible to keep track on things if I’m flipping back and forth between various things at the same time. Especially, if you have your phone sitting beside you and the notifications is on.

Our brains, as it seems, just can’t handle it all. For me, when it comes to prep work and planning my schedule, it’s, even more, a mess so the best thing to do is get it down — on paper or app. That way it becomes an external brain.

Continue Reading…

…will no longer be secrets.

Secrets are one part of the core that makes us tick and function in this world. We have them because they either affect us based on our idea whether or not society accepts us or not.

If your secret was about making love to a bicycle, then I’m sure it would be a curious thought to ever share that with anyone. What would they think? What would they say? Would they abandon the friendship because of that shared thought?

These are chances that most people are afraid to reveal. And for me, it wasn’t about that.

For me, it was three things really.

One was dark. One was disgusting. One was about social acceptance.

Continue Reading…

“Meditation is not to get out of society, to escape from society, but to prepare for a reentry into society.” — Thich Nhat Hanh, from Being Peace.

The more mindful you become of your daily activities, no matter how mundane they are, you can start to feel more alive. The best way I can describe it is to compare it as a synchronization between the mind and the body. The control factor is always you the practitioner. And what you control is your breathing. There are probably hundreds of techniques you could employ and you wouldn’t be wrong in any way as long as you can benefit from it.

For myself, it’s as simple as reminding you that you are alive. Or a breaking down of techniques found in zen practices in the wonderful books of Thich Nhat Hanh.

Continue Reading…

There and back again.

It looked simple. It sounded simple. All we had to do was pack enough into a green duffle bag for a weekend and hit the road on a yellow scooter that still rattled and rolled.

Bunny and I were on a journey of a 116 KM — we are doing the HCMC to VT via Bien Hoa loop. It was the most traditional way anyone would embark on a motorbike ride to the popular tourist destination. Normally, we would buy two tickets for a ride in one of those companies that run large vans back and forth from the two cities.

This time, however, was a change of pace and scenery.

An adventure was the name of the game.

Continue Reading…